Collaborating and to serve diverse clients

 

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If you have not already done so, review the media presentation, Consultation Scenarios and the assigned readings and links from this unit’s studies to prepare you for this discussion.

In your discussion post, present a plan for collaborating with other professionals and advocating on behalf of a client.

Choose one of the following cases for your analysis for this discussion. For each case, assume that the client has signed a consent for treatment that included permission to consult with other experts on an as-needed basis. Consider and reference your assigned readings when building your plan for how to collaborate and advocate for your client.

Case 1
Parents have been referred to you about counseling for their teenager. The family immigrated to the United States as refugees when their child was two years old. Despite some trauma in their previous life, and some challenges adapting to their new community, they feel their family has made a positive adjustment to living in a new culture. Now, however, they are concerned about their teen’s poor academic performance, which has plummeted since the beginning of ninth grade. They are also distressed, because a beloved grandmother, who lived with the family, recently passed away. This happened at about the same time their teen’s grades began to drop. Their teen has also withdrawn from friends and usual social activities and has expressed self-consciousness about being “different.” The parents are very concerned but are not sure how to proceed. They hope that you can speak to the school counselor, because they feel intimidated about going to their teenager’s school themselves.
Case 2
A biracial couple has come to see you, because they want help in making some decisions. They are struggling with their relationship due to differences in their religious practices and in key values of their families of origin. They reveal that they are contemplating divorce but want to work amicably for the sake of their son, a pre-school child with special needs requiring expensive medical equipment. They also want their child to respect the spiritual values of both families and need help in agreeing upon a plan for their child’s religious education experiences. As the couple describes the scenarios they are considering, they also ask you questions about the process of divorce in your state such as the dividing of assets and child-custody laws.
Case 3
A senior adult client presents at your counseling center with symptoms of depression. Your counseling center has close ties with a senior housing center in your community; a social worker employed at the senior center referred the client to you. The client recently experienced a family rejection, after revealing a previously undisclosed relationship with someone from a group not accepted by the family, and has become increasingly despondent. The client indicates a willingness to try counseling but also expresses a desire for you to prescribe “some pills for depression.” The client remembers being previously prescribed medications by a physician but cannot remember what they were. Your client would also like to find part-time work in order to feel more worthwhile and to have a place to go during the day. However, your client feels hopeless about being able to do so due to transportation and ageism issues.

First, briefly identify the case you will use as your focus in this discussion. You may fill in hypothetical details so that the case resembles one with which you might work in the future. Then, analyze the case. Answer the following questions in your analysis:

  • With whom would you find it useful to collaborate regarding this case?
  • What institutional or social barriers can you identify that might impede access, equity, or success for your clients in this case?
  • What local-, state-, and national-level policies may impede or enhance your clients’ adjustment and access to mental health care?
  • What strategies can you utilize in your work to advocate for your clients in this case?

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